At first glance it might seem that I am just a happy, normal girl who loves to bake and walk her dog. However, I have suffered with an eating disorder since I was 13. It was only in May 2014 when I realised that this Voice in my head was slowly but surely trying to kill me. And so began the long, hard, and painful journey which is recovery...
I want My Cocoa Stained Apron to be a special place...a place for reflection, memories, shared stories...and of course a little bit of cocoa-staining ;) Recovery might be the hardest thing you ever choose to do in this life. But it is also the bravest and best decision you will ever make.:)
Sunday, 12 July 2015
The perfect dream...and the perfect fall...
But you know, one thing I was thinking, as I stood in the porch of my home yesterday evening, that there is no such thing as perfection. The search for perfection is one which is inevitably both fruitless and futile. If anything, as I have learnt to my cost, the strive for perfection is just setting you up, for the most perfect, perfect fall...
You see, at the beginning of it all, when that thirteen year old girl who was me, all those years ago, suddenly and without any apparent reason, developed an eating disorder...that was what that girl wanted, really; she wanted every single aspect of her life, and herself, to be perfect.
I didn't suddenly wake up one day, and decide to go on a diet, to drive my loved ones sick with worry and concern, to restrict what I ate and forbid myself to eat many of the foods which I loved. No; the reasons behind my eating disorder lay much, much deeper than that, and this, I recognise now, was probably one of the most fundamental of them all.
I believed that I would only ever be truly happy, if I had that perfection; if I created a perfect world for myself...if I moulded my own body, into a form which I saw as being perfect. And hence began, at the age of thirteen, this relentless striving for everything to be what I saw as being unarguably flawless, corerect, perfect. I became obessessed about getting perfect grades; I would weep my heart out if I got anything less than a B in a class test, or did less favouraly than my peers. I wanted to be the perfect student; I wanted to be the Trinity graduate with the perfect degree, who went onto get the perfect career. I wanted everything in my life to be perfect: lots of friends, a spectacular social life, knowing that I was liked and respected by everyone;the security that noone would look down on me, judge me, think negatively of me. And so it was with my body, too. I believed with all my heart that if I did not change myself and the way I looked, and alter my body into an image of what I regarded as nearest to perfect as I ever would be, that noone would ever like me; noone would ever want to be my friend. Why would they, I thought, want to be friends with a short, slow-witted, dumpy girl with the round face and stubby legs? All I have to do, is reach that perfect weight, that perfect shape, have a perfect body, in the eyes of society. And then, everything will be perfect. everything will be as I want it to be.
Today, as I sit here writing to you, I clearly see just how distorted, how wrong, how destructive this mindset really is.And looking back now...do I see what this relentless striving for "perfection" really rought me? Did it bring me contentment or satisfaction, a sense of fulfilment, purpose...complete and unbroken happiness?
No, of course it did not. My strive for perfection was, inevitably, the thing that so, so close to nearly destroying me..it made me depressed, isolated, obsessive, bitter, anxious, extremely self-critical, lonely, and very, very unhappy. I became almost devoid of all hope.
So please, when you find yourself restricitng, or overexercising, or purging or whatever, or even if you aren;t physically engaging in any behaviours, but are just making yourself feel down or depressed with your negative thoughts, wishing that you were at a size x or that you could have a body shape like y...that you were at the shape or weight that you see or regard as perfect...just stop and take a deep breath, and think...what exactly will you achieve by doing just that? Will it bring you everything you have ever dreamed of, everything you ever really wanted, in life?
I still realy struggle with applying my own advice to myself, as the holiday really did testify. More than anything else in the world, I wanted it to be absolutely, flawlessly perfect - in every single possible way.But of course, it was unrealistic of me to feel this way - in reality, things never work out quite as perfectly as we would like them to be; and thinking like this can be problematical. Setting my hopes so high meant that I was bound to be disappointed. Hence why as I snuggled under the duvet in my own bed at home, my body still but my mind anything but, as thoughts and memories circulating around the holiday chased eachother round and around in my head - hence why I felt a sharp, bittersweet sensation tug at my heart right then. because it had been a lovely, lovely holiday; but, unsurprisingly, it was't absolutely prefect in every way. And is the often case with me, all the negative things, all the imperfections, I allow to swallow and submerge everything else which is bbeauitul, I hope that, in the future, I will learn how to see my world, and my life, in a more positive and healthy way; and accept that both I, and my life as a whole, do not have to be perfect to be happy. <3 xxxx
A reflective moment for me by the sea yesterday, before we headed for the airport to go home.